Airdate – May 22, 2022
One of the most active musicians, songwriters, and record producers of the 60s and 70s was New Yorker Wes Farrell.
In the early 70s he took a liking to a quartet known as “Triboro Exchange,” named after the bridge linking of three of New York City’s boroughs.
Farrell subsequently introduced the group to producer/arranger, Thom Bell, persuading Bell to put some instrumental tracks together so that the group could lay some vocals over them …
Our featured group, all high school buddies, could not believe their good fortune. Imagine having Wes Farrell and Thom Bell in your camp.
Wes Farrell’s success began in the early 60s as he co-wrote “Boys” with Luthor Dixon, a song that was released by the Shirelles on the B side of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” This song of course was covered by the Beatles with Ringo singing lead in 1963.
In 1965, Farrell took the McCoys under his wing and composed the #1 hit, “Hang On Sloopy,” a rework of “My Girl Sloopy” that had been a hit for the Vibrations a year earlier in 1964.
In addition to sharing success with the Shirelles, Jay & the Americans, the Cowsills, and Tony Orlando & Dawn, Farrell really hit his stride when he was hired to produce the recordings for the Partridge Family TV show. As for Thom Bell, he wrote and produced for the Delfonics, the Spinners, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Stylistics.
Needless to say, our featured group had no problem with Wes Farrell’s suggestion of changing their name from Triboro Exchange to New York City.
In 1973, thanks to Farrell and Thom Bell, New York City debut on Billboard. It’s a good bet that if you asked anyone in the group how they were feeling about their breakout record, they would probably reply, “I’m Doin’ Fine Now,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: